Any other fans of Pathfinder’s sci-fi elements?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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I’m quietly vibrating as we wait for a few certain imminent releases, but even with what’s already out (or established in 1e), it really struck me: my favorite thing about Pathfinder is the sci-fi stuff!

Few things make me happier than knowing that I can play an android in this game, or how many aliens are sneakily tucked away across Golarion - to say nothing of the detailed planets beyond that we also get to know! I know these things can be divisive, or don’t fit in every game, but I would really like to nerd out with other fellow lovers of the strange!

How have you worked these elements into your play? Have you made ot played alongside any especially out-there PCs?


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I'm glad it exists for people that enjoy it, like yourself, but I just removed it.

Though I do think Android is a perfect ancestry for Amnesiac.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like it a lot. My players ADORED the rail gun and lightning rifle they wrested from the hands of a futuristic assassin.

If we can get more scifi stuff, I'll probably switch all of my Starfinder games over to PF2 to avoid the many headaches of Starfinder.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love it and cannot get enough of it. I want more Planetary Romance and Science Fantasy in my Pathfinder.


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Ashanderai wrote:
I love it and cannot get enough of it. I want more Planetary Romance and Science Fantasy in my Pathfinder.

Big same.


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I’d be over the moon for some more dedicated love for it in 2e; a Distant Worlds 2 with some updated ancestries (lashunta!) and some associated Archetypes would really be a joy. I’m holding out hope that we see a Solarian Archetype at some point, with a summoned solar weapon and/or armor.


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I really enjoy the sci-fi elements, but they don't get stressed to my players. When they come out, it's something like a pleasant surprise. I remember in a PFS Quest, my players encountered an android and just assumed he was an odd man, not really questioning it. When they discovered his identity, they felt like the world had gotten that much more interesting. I'm curious how Guns and Gears will affect this!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Iron Gods is easily my favorite AP have tried to run it 3 times but had group or personal issues.

I am really hoping Kasatha return in PF2 at some point. I know the devs have said that racial archetypes aren't likely in 2E but I would hope Kasatha get ancestry feats to facilitate bow nomad somehow.


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Ruzza wrote:
I really enjoy the sci-fi elements, but they don't get stressed to my players. When they come out, it's something like a pleasant surprise. I remember in a PFS Quest, my players encountered an android and just assumed he was an odd man, not really questioning it. When they discovered his identity, they felt like the world had gotten that much more interesting. I'm curious how Guns and Gears will affect this!

They've said not to expect Numerian-level technology in G&G; I think we're mostly capping out at some mid-1800s firearms, while the Construct ancestry is powered by magical artifice.

I'm hoping we see a Technology Guide-equivalen for 2e someday, though I'd sooner see alien Ancestries and some weird Archetypes. I wonder with 2e's release model, we'd more likely see them all lumped together in one book? Here's hoping it isn't a decade's wait for it.


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Nicolas Paradise wrote:

Iron Gods is easily my favorite AP have tried to run it 3 times but had group or personal issues.

I am really hoping Kasatha return in PF2 at some point. I know the devs have said that racial archetypes aren't likely in 2E but I would hope Kasatha get ancestry feats to facilitate bow nomad somehow.

Fingers crossed that James Jacobs gets his sequel after all.

I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide! Casandalee's place in 2e canon is one of my favorite things about the edition.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:

Iron Gods is easily my favorite AP have tried to run it 3 times but had group or personal issues.

I am really hoping Kasatha return in PF2 at some point. I know the devs have said that racial archetypes aren't likely in 2E but I would hope Kasatha get ancestry feats to facilitate bow nomad somehow.

Fingers crossed that James Jacobs gets his sequel after all.

I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide! Casandalee's place in 2e canon is one of my favorite things about the edition.

Ditto. They Meyanda look alike was a mistake of a hired artist just copying the given reference instead of being inspired by it. It got my hopes up when I saw it that Meyanda was meant to be redeemed but James said in a stream when I asked him that while it could go that way he wrote her to die(as opposed to Nualia from RotR he assumes she survives somehow). But he said the Dominion of the Black is out there still with its eyes on Golorian so someday hopefully we get an AP with spoopy deep space Cthulu aliens that will take big players like the Technic League to fight back.


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Nicolas Paradise wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:

Iron Gods is easily my favorite AP have tried to run it 3 times but had group or personal issues.

I am really hoping Kasatha return in PF2 at some point. I know the devs have said that racial archetypes aren't likely in 2E but I would hope Kasatha get ancestry feats to facilitate bow nomad somehow.

Fingers crossed that James Jacobs gets his sequel after all.

I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide! Casandalee's place in 2e canon is one of my favorite things about the edition.

Ditto. They Meyanda look alike was a mistake of a hired artist just copying the given reference instead of being inspired by it. It got my hopes up when I saw it that Meyanda was meant to be redeemed but James said in a stream when I asked him that while it could go that way he wrote her to die(as opposed to Nualia from RotR he assumes she survives somehow). But he said the Dominion of the Black is out there still with its eyes on Golorian so someday hopefully we get an AP with spoopy deep space Cthulu aliens that will take big players like the Technic League to fight back.

Yeah, I’m aware of that - and I choose to ignore it :p

As for the sequel story, I would love to see some cosmic horror! It’s worth knowing that the Technic League is dead and shattered, though the survivors are currently warlording it up.

Lantern Lodge

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I admit, the Dominion of the Black is one of my favourite things about Golarion.

And Iron Gods is my favourite AP. I could not run it, but i look forward to run it in the future.

To put it in a nutshell, I Love the little bits of Sci-fi in Pathfinder.


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Current thought: maybe run a one-shot set on Akiton once we get that gazetteer, and run a game where I allow human, iruxi, ysoki, fleshwarp, android, construct, and maybe an elf from Sovyrian, with a heavy emphasis on guns and occult casters.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

When I was perusing the various APs I thought that Iron Gods looked absolutely amazing. I'm a huge fan of the sci-fi elements. Any time I see artwork from Numeria with barbarians fighting robots I'm instantly drawn in.

Truthfully, I'm a much larger fan of science fiction than I am of high fantasy. I enjoy the Golarion/Pathfinder setting because it lets me mash so many elements together. Pirates, martial arts tournaments, sci-fi, dinosaurs, Victorian crime drama, etc. If it was just (you're a wizard and you fight a dragon) on repeat it would be *fine* but I'm not sure if I would have gotten so hooked on the lore.

Liberty's Edge

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Nicolas Paradise wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide!
They Meyanda look alike was a mistake of a hired artist just copying the given reference instead of being inspired by it. It got my hopes up when I saw it that Meyanda was meant to be redeemed but James said in a stream when I asked him that while it could go that way he wrote her to die(as opposed to Nualia from RotR he assumes she survives somehow).

I mean, androids dying and then having someone running around wearing their exact face is literally how android death is supposed to work, isn't it? I honestly just assumed it was Mayenda-2 and didn't even stop to think more about it.

Also, yes, GIVE ME ALL THE SCI FI PLZ


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Ruzza wrote:
I really enjoy the sci-fi elements, but they don't get stressed to my players. When they come out, it's something like a pleasant surprise. I remember in a PFS Quest, my players encountered an android and just assumed he was an odd man, not really questioning it. When they discovered his identity, they felt like the world had gotten that much more interesting. I'm curious how Guns and Gears will affect this!

I have actually wanted to play a sorcerer with the Nanite bloodline like forever; it takes the idea of polymorphing to a totally incredible place, and makes it more valuable for the sorcerer to be a little bit more martial than usual.

(and I love the idea of transforming into a Nanite Swarm)


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I like the sci-fi elements, but I also like that they've set it up so they can easily be isolated and ignored if and when you don't want them.

They're fun to play with, but they're a "sometimes" thing for me. And I like it better when they're a contrast to the fantasy world rather than just a normal part of life.


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I like sci-fi but am definitely wary of unbalancing magic and weapons with technology.

I think Paizo has done a good job so far. The playtest gunslinger felt decent, and in a PFS scenario I picked up access to a laser rifle or something that also felt pretty balanced.


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YES. I hope they have another AP or module set in Numeria in 2e.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide!
They Meyanda look alike was a mistake of a hired artist just copying the given reference instead of being inspired by it. It got my hopes up when I saw it that Meyanda was meant to be redeemed but James said in a stream when I asked him that while it could go that way he wrote her to die(as opposed to Nualia from RotR he assumes she survives somehow).

I mean, androids dying and then having someone running around wearing their exact face is literally how android death is supposed to work, isn't it? I honestly just assumed it was Mayenda-2 and didn't even stop to think more about it.

Also, yes, GIVE ME ALL THE SCI FI PLZ

Correct me if I am wrong but the whole new soul same body only happens when they die naturally. If they are killed by sword or bullet lets say, the nanites can't repair the damage well enough.


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I want scifi stuff in p2e..... I also want starfinder 2e, lol

Liberty's Edge

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Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
keftiu wrote:
I love the Meyanda-lookalike on the cover of the Ancestry Guide!
They Meyanda look alike was a mistake of a hired artist just copying the given reference instead of being inspired by it. It got my hopes up when I saw it that Meyanda was meant to be redeemed but James said in a stream when I asked him that while it could go that way he wrote her to die(as opposed to Nualia from RotR he assumes she survives somehow).

I mean, androids dying and then having someone running around wearing their exact face is literally how android death is supposed to work, isn't it? I honestly just assumed it was Mayenda-2 and didn't even stop to think more about it.

Also, yes, GIVE ME ALL THE SCI FI PLZ

Correct me if I am wrong but the whole new soul same body only happens when they die naturally. If they are killed by sword or bullet lets say, the nanites can't repair the damage well enough.

RAW that is absolutely true, but since I object to it on both realism (What exactly does "die by violence" mean? Can I do it if I'm bleeding out? If I have a heart attack? If I die from undiagnosed cancer? How much time do I need to "release my soul to the Boneyard?") and narrative (the first android I ever played was out to find out who had murdered his previous incarnation) standpoints, I tend to dismiss it pretty intensely.


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Watery Soup wrote:

I like sci-fi but am definitely wary of unbalancing magic and weapons with technology.

I think Paizo has done a good job so far. The playtest gunslinger felt decent, and in a PFS scenario I picked up access to a laser rifle or something that also felt pretty balanced.

…what scenario has a laser rifle?


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I love that you can play a futuristic android with a laser pistol next to a Conan barbarian who fights drones, then the both of you can go into a 'dungeon' which is actually a starship which has crashed. I love the magitech blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements.

I'll grant they're not in-theme for every story (Numeria may be next door to Ustalav, but its a little hard to picture an android fitting into Carrion Crown... but then it's a little hard to picture an elf fitting into Carrion Crown, so that's not just an android problem XD)

I loved running the first two books of Iron Gods and would love a chance to try them again in 2e


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I love that you can play a futuristic android with a laser pistol next to a Conan barbarian who fights drones, then the both of you can go into a 'dungeon' which is actually a starship which has crashed. I love the magitech blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements.

I'll grant they're not in-theme for every story (Numeria may be next door to Ustalav, but its a little hard to picture an android fitting into Carrion Crown... but then it's a little hard to picture an elf fitting into Carrion Crown, so that's not just an android problem XD)

I loved running the first two books of Iron Gods and would love a chance to try them again in 2e

Isn’t part of Ustalav absolutely rife with cosmic horror cultists?


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I hope we see a "Sword and Stars" book that offers both technology and details on the planets. Akiton shows up in Strength of Thousands, which is always nice.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

the sci-fi stuff is great and I hope to see more make its way from Numeria and Starfinder into the various books.


Albatoonoe wrote:
I hope we see a "Sword and Stars" book that offers both technology and details on the planets.

Few things would make me happier!

I would be careful about that second note, as it is a pretty significant spoiler for an AP a lot of folks are playing; I've gotten barked at for it a few times myself.


keftiu wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I hope we see a "Sword and Stars" book that offers both technology and details on the planets.

Few things would make me happier!

I would be careful about that second note, as it is a pretty significant spoiler for an AP a lot of folks are playing; I've gotten barked at for it a few times myself.

It's basically in the blurb for the module, so it's kind of hard to keep a secret.


thejeff wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I hope we see a "Sword and Stars" book that offers both technology and details on the planets.

Few things would make me happier!

I would be careful about that second note, as it is a pretty significant spoiler for an AP a lot of folks are playing; I've gotten barked at for it a few times myself.

It's basically in the blurb for the module, so it's kind of hard to keep a secret.

I’ve made the same argument, but I don’t think a lot of players are looking up an AP they’re in.


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keftiu wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I love that you can play a futuristic android with a laser pistol next to a Conan barbarian who fights drones, then the both of you can go into a 'dungeon' which is actually a starship which has crashed. I love the magitech blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements.

I'll grant they're not in-theme for every story (Numeria may be next door to Ustalav, but its a little hard to picture an android fitting into Carrion Crown... but then it's a little hard to picture an elf fitting into Carrion Crown, so that's not just an android problem XD)

I loved running the first two books of Iron Gods and would love a chance to try them again in 2e

Isn’t part of Ustalav absolutely rife with cosmic horror cultists?

You absolutely make a valid point (and actually there are at least two places where the Old Cults are popular--Thrushmoor is pretty much built on a cosmic horror fault line, and Lepidstadt is home to some activity). Also Illmarsh is basically an Innsmouth homage.

I feel like cosmic horror, even the more space-focused (as opposed to the more terrestrial cultic worship of cosmic beings) has a rather different tone from synthetic androids with nanobot blood... but you're still not wrong. The marvels of modern science have been a feature of the gothic horror tropes that Ustalav draw on since at least as far back as Dracula's liberal use of (at the time) cutting-edge blood transfusion technology.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group and I are gearing up (see what I did there?) to play Iron Gods in PF2. There were lots of options, but I really pushed for it, and they went for it ultimately.
I love the sci-fi stuff because it's strange and unusual. The crash landed space ship is something completely out there and weird. I don't enjoy it as much in a sci-fi world. I like the bit of sci-fi in the fantasy world. Makes it feel more mysterious.


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I hope to see the rest of Golarion's solar system explored in a PF2e book somewhere down the line, if only to see Brethedans become a playable ancestry.

Give me my psychic jellyfish aliens, Paizo!


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I know this thread is asking for fans of the sci-fi elements but I thought I'd add a counter-perspective. I would have preferred no sci-fi (androids, guns, gunslingers, etc) in PF2 and, if it is emphasized, it will decrease my liking of the game.

As a caveat, I would be fine with guns if they handled them realistically for early firearms (high damage but multiple rounds to reload) but few fantasy RPGs do that.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Current thought: maybe run a one-shot set on Akiton once we get that gazetteer, and run a game where I allow human, iruxi, ysoki, fleshwarp, android, construct, and maybe an elf from Sovyrian, with a heavy emphasis on guns and occult casters.

Check out junker’s delight for inspiration as well for this.


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I love adding science fiction to my D&D world. Doing so is as old as D&D, and I am a giant fan of all sorts of science fantasy, science fiction mixed with fantasy, and high technology mixed with fantasy. From movies like Bakshi's Wizards, to comics like Saga, to books like Vance's Dying Earth or Gene Wolf's Books of the New Sun, I love all of that stuff. Iron Gods was the first adventure path that I thought was so cool I had to stop my current campaign and run it. So, yeah, there are other fans, and count me as one of them.


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thejeff wrote:

I like the sci-fi elements, but I also like that they've set it up so they can easily be isolated and ignored if and when you don't want them.

They're fun to play with, but they're a "sometimes" thing for me. And I like it better when they're a contrast to the fantasy world rather than just a normal part of life.

I'm a super huge fan of the sci fi stuff, like how toyboxy Golarion can feel in that regard because I like genre mashing, but I also totally agree here that it's nice they can be separated for those as don't want it. Better that than elements of the world being tossed out everywhere that could turn off potential players, and so far those elements seem to be guns and more advanced tech, at least in a high fantasy game like Pathfinder is.


keftiu wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:

I like sci-fi but am definitely wary of unbalancing magic and weapons with technology.

I think Paizo has done a good job so far. The playtest gunslinger felt decent, and in a PFS scenario I picked up access to a laser rifle or something that also felt pretty balanced.

…what scenario has a laser rifle?

My bad, we faced an enemy with a laser rifle but didn't get access to it at the end. In my defense, I brought a sorcerer and noted that I couldn't use any of Chronicle items because of proficiency, so I filed the Chronicle away without much fanfare.

Faced a Laser Rifle in ...:
#1-24

Addendum:

On researching a little more, it's quite possible I might have conflated it with a PFS1 scenario where I did get access to some technology (also unused because of proficiency issues).

Got a Pew-Pew in ...:
PFS1 #6-02

It's the only other Numerian scenario I've played, so it's very likely I just mixed them in my mind.


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Technically, you can play a space alien right out of the Core Rulebook, if you decide to create an elf PC.


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Personally I'm not a fan. I don't even like guns/steampunk stuff in my fantasy (although I LOVE Psionics). The funny thing is I go target shooting recreationally all the time but I'm still not a fan of guns in my fantasy. Sci-Fi/Superhero games hell yea, bring on the guns. Just not in fantasy. My .02.


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Can I ask why folks feel the need to enter this thread to say they don’t like what it’s about? It doesn’t add much to the conversation.

Silver Crusade

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They need your validation something fierce.


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My favorite fantasy setting is the world from Iron Dragon's Daughter and its sequel Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick. I'm always down for a feverish fusion of genres. The more bewildering curve balls you get in what you thought was a defined recognizable setting, the more fantastical it is imo. That's why I love the kitchen sink approach of Golarion. Robots, cavemen, Cthulhu monsters, knights, steampunk inventors, guns, monastic monks and shamanistic druids, Fantasy NYC........ BRING IN MORE! So yea I'm down for more Sci Fi. I'm down for anything they can add to make the setting more varied.

Wayfinders

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It's brilliant. I absolutely love the robots-as-monsters, mystical-tech aesthetic of Numeria, and Casandalee is definitely one of my favourite deities in the setting (along with Shelyn, Brigh and Arazni). I can't wait to see where it all goes next, especially with Kevoth-Kul and Kul-Inkit being free to really understand their nation through the guidance of the Iron Goddess. It's only so long until some bright spark from Alkenstar catches a whiff of unexploited technology...

Also, the interplanetary elements? Fantastic. Planetary romance is not really my genre but I really like the way Pathfinder handles it with a lot of references to the way Venus and Mars were once depicted in both science and its fiction. That said, I much prefer the beautiful-and-truly-alien sort of Lashunta we see in Starfinder, as much as I understand that their more awkward PF1 traits are an homage to planetary romance tropes. In fact, I suspect that the naked-elves-on-lizards aesthetic and gender nonsense will turn out to have been some combination of psychic meddling and unreliable reporting, handled similarly to the Mwangi updates.


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My campaign is actually very much based around the sci-fi elements. My playtest campaign was about unearthing advanced tech, and my current one is about the Dominion of the Black trying to spread terror through psychic assaults through dreams and nightmares


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I really liked the premise of Iron Gods and the mix of fantasy and Sci-Fi, sadly my group didn't really hold on it. I hope I'll get to play it again someday, maybe in 2e. :)

Mixing magic and technology is fun and can lead to such silly situations


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While I love mixing scifi and fantasy together, I don't like it when it's only a few weapons, armor, and other equipment. Having stats for technological vehicles, like a tank, aircraft, and maybe a sample space ship would be cool instead of having to homebrew it or convert it from somewhere else.

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